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Discussion Starter · #121 ·

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Can I ask about your paint colour? Did you have a code?

I'm going for Old English White with some additional touches (cat's out of the bag now, don't really know why I've been keeping it a secret) and the closest I can find to My Vision(tm) is a 71-75 E-Type colour but even that is a little darker than I'd like. In some of your pictures (the one with the neons and one with the new mirrors) yours looks pretty close to what I'm after but I think in reality it has more yellow in it than I want.
Anyway, I know lighting, camera, screen etc changes everything but I am curious!
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 ·
Can I ask about your paint colour? Did you have a code?

I'm going for Old English White with some additional touches (cat's out of the bag now, don't really know why I've been keeping it a secret) and the closest I can find to My Vision(tm) is a 71-75 E-Type colour but even that is a little darker than I'd like. In some of your pictures (the one with the neons and one with the new mirrors) yours looks pretty close to what I'm after but I think in reality it has more yellow in it than I want.
Anyway, I know lighting, camera, screen etc changes everything but I am curious!
Hey man, yeah it's Toyota Ivory 4E7, it's an old Toyota colour used on various 80s models. It is a strange colour that looks very different depending on the light. In sunlight I suppose it is somewhat similar to Old English White, but sometimes it does have a slightly more beige/yellow look to it.
 

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Hey man, yeah it's Toyota Ivory 4E7, it's an old Toyota colour used on various 80s models. It is a strange colour that looks very different depending on the light. In sunlight I suppose it is somewhat similar to Old English White, but sometimes it does have a slightly more beige/yellow look to it.
Amazing, thank you for that. I'll look into it!
Much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
Bloody hell, 6 months without an update haha.

Car is still all good, absolutely love it, done a few bits, had a few issues, nothing major though.

So as some of you know I got a Bluebird in the summer, been driving around in that as a "daily" (22mpg is not good for a daily). I have a 1 car driveway but no one else in the block has complained about this arrangement for 6 months so it's all good I guess haha:



Given how low the 5 is and how high the Bluebird was, you could literally park it underneath the Bluebird for maximum use of space:




In classic me style I couldn't leave the Bluebird alone and it got lowered a fair amount recently:




Anyway, back to the 5. As I say not much going on, had a progressively worse rumble noise on the front, was sure it was wheel bearing, and was quite pleased to see that front hubs with bearing were available as a fit and forget part from MX5Parts for like £35, so I got that sorted:



Mint:



Still need to do the passenger side one, but the noise is gone, driver's side was the issue. Had no play in at all, but the noise was getting horrible, like a flat tyre.


I was driving to my workshop recently and the clutch went, well, weird. Like nothing I had experienced. It messed up a bit on the dual carriageway, then started working again, albeit returning the pedal very stiffly and abruptly which made traffic a nuisance on that journey. Got most of the way there and the pedal went absolutely rock hard when lifted, however the clutch was acting as though the pedal was still fully down. Having cars behind me I stamped on the pedal hard, and well that was that haha. Pedal went full flaccid, and was totally non-functional. So I waited for my mate to recover me. Now it's not a tilt and slide, but he's a genius with planks of wood, so we got the car on without a single scrape of the underside, not bad at all!



Anyway I noticed a fair amount of brake fluid on the road under the car. So it turns out that one of the slave cylinder bolts backed completely out, this then jogged my memory that I heard a metallic noise under the car earlier in the journey, so that explains it. Anyway with 1 bolt somehow managing to back out the slave was on a single pivot point, and had tipped forwards 45 degrees, though just managing to keep the pin pressed on the clutch fork and working. Obviously it gave up, and when I stamped on the pedal it had literally blown the piston right out of the slave cylinder and lost all clutch pressure. I popped it back in, slave was completely undamaged, it had just essentially disassembled itself. Got a spare bolt out of the bolts box, did a quick clutch bleed with a mate (the single braided line makes this a super quick and easy job btw, highly recommend!) and it's mint again. Weird one, I know I definitely did them up, so no idea how one managed to back out, I'll be keeping an eye on that for sure.

Other than that it died on a busy roundabout, wouldn't re-start, and my mate towed me about 7 miles to the workshop, with a tow rope, in a 1 litre K11 Micra. It's not the first time that mighty Micra has helped a stranded car like this, it's a real trooper that thing! Honestly not an experience I want to endure again, in the rain, the brakes are frankly horrendous with no engine power, and I generally did not have a good time. But we made it and I didn't rear end him, so it's all good. No idea at all what the issue was, within 20 minutes of being back at the workshop the bloody thing started up mint and has run fine since. I changed the plugs as I had some spares, but that almost certainly wasn't the issue. Plugs looked ok tbh:



I'm thinking it may be related to CAS or coilpack, so I'm going to get a spare of each just in case, for when the current ones decided to die.

Other than that it's been a fairly quiet few months, gave it some washes, drove it, good car!






I have a work bonus coming in at the end of this month, want to get the Bluetooth module bought for the tablet install I set up last year, sort some custom door cards and red rear deck carpet, get some Piper Cams, build the 4.7 diff, and get some adjustable rear arms so I can bring that camber in without having any rub issues. That's the plans for it now anyway, will be fantastic once all those are done, though will likely be a little while until it's all sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
Maybe go for COPS? Cheaper than a new coil pack :)
Yeah I could go COPS, though tbh I would never buy a new coilpack or CAS anyway haha, over £300 for each on MX5Parts, I'd likely just buy an entire spare engine with them on, or just get one off a mate for a few quid. I think the next step for the engine will be cams and adjustable pulleys, though I do have an unfinished interior to sort too haha.
 
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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
Finally got around to doing something with the interior. I bought some fabric for door cards, a few meters of burgundy carpet, and some Noico underlay tiles.

I went with some nice heart fabric for the door cards. With a bit of careful cutting I got the door cards covered, stuck down with fabric glue and on the back side with staples.



They've come out pretty good, though the speaker holes aren't quite in the right place, I am going to put a mesh speaker cover over the hole so it won't even be noticeable.






The burgundy carpet was a good purchase, it matches the colour of the roof and the steering wheel almost perfectly!




Still need to sort some of the edges out, and neaten some wiring that runs under certain bits of the carpet, but overall very happy considering I had to cut and shape it myself, and I'm not all that with upholstery haha. The underlay tiles were super easy to fit, and the carpet is thin enough that it was fairly easy to fit in place. Again I used carpet/fabric spray glue to bond it down in most areas.





Still some tidying needed, I want to get some new gaiters and a new handbrake cover, will probably remove most of the dash stickers, and I'd like to get some different gauge faces too.


Also gave it an oil and oil filter change today. Went with a genuine Mazda oil filter as it was cheap, and it feels somehow better to have gone Genuine on engine parts haha. Sitting on 296,xxx km now and still going strong. Silicone hoses and coolant change due soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
Was jetwashing the car and noticed someone has kindly damaged my lovely paint :cry: so annoying! I'll get it sorted, but right in the center of the door is an annoying place to sort!




The underside of the car is all repaired in the problem areas, but I have been wanting to clean up the subframes and floor for a while now. I started with the rear subframe last night. It wasn't too bad to be honest, just gave it a buzz back and applied some Hydrate80 rust converter to get the little bits of surface rust, then gave it a good coat of underseal:



My chassis rails have got a little bit sad from the occasional hitting of the floor, and I noticed the right side on the rear has split a little:



Going to buzz the whole floor and both chassis rails back, weld up the small split in that chassis rail, and get the rest of the underneath sprayed and protected. Had a good look under it while it was on the ramp last night, and there isn't any other welding to address now, it's looking pretty good.

I know for a fact the chassis rails and rear subframe were the reason for this advisory on my most recent MOT:



So once this is sorted I will be in a good position to never get another rust advisory on the car again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
So got some stuff done the last couple of days. The sills had some paint on but it was a bit thin in places. After all the effort welding them up I decided to buzz them back, and then white stone chipped them and overpainted in the same cream as the car is painted.

Masked up and stonechip applied:



The cream is now applied after I let the stonechip dry. A little bit more work required but it's all looking pretty good now and nicely protected.


Also spent some time buzzing back the chassis rails and some parts of the floor. The chassis rails have some dents but overall in good enough condition. Removed a load of old underseal and buzzed any minor surface rust back until it was shiny metal again, and then applied some decent stone chip. Still some more to do, but the boot floor, boot pockets, rear subframe, chassis rails and rear sills are now all freshly undersealed:



Towards the front I found a small rust hole when removing old underseal, in the floor area near the driver's side front sill. Gave it a buzz back and it's very small, about the third of the size off a penny, so nothing too bad. My mate who welded up the rest of the car had a look and said it'll be light work to get it sorted out, so I'll get that done soon.

Other than that no other welding needed anywhere that I have found so far, everything else seems pretty solid underneath the old underseal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
There's a few photos and videos I haven't posted on here before so thought I would chuck them in now. I need to get some decent photos and videos of it this year!







These 2 are videos but they don't load a play button properly on forums:






I've also made a list of the short term maintenance/repairs/upgrades that are needed, hopefully all done before the summer:

  • Weld up small floor hole
  • Finish undersealing
  • New rear calipers (snapped bleed nipple)
  • Braided rear brake lines
  • New handbrake cables
  • New front upper arms and ball joints
  • Front driver's sidelight loom
  • Sort washer jets
  • Fit a rear view mirror

Not bad really, should have it all done in a few months.
 
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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
So I took the crash pad off without damaging it somehow!




Got some more material I used for the door cards, ironed it nice and flat, spray glued the crash pad:




Added material with help from the girlfriend who is much more crafty than me. Glued it down, trimmed it back, and stapled the fabric to the back with a decent upholstery stapler:




And fitted:



Still need to de-sticker the dash, get new handbrake and gear lever gaiters, and a new handbrake sleeve (current one is a BMX grip haha).

Overall I love it, just need to de-clutter it a bit more.
 
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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Got to use my new trombone cleaner I got for my birthday today, absolutely perfect for the hood drains and the petrol flap drain. The hood drains were a bit gross, the passenger side had a load of silt in it, and also 2 trim clips haha, no idea how that happened. Both sides nice and clean now, both were flowing anyway, but good to clear them out better.

Also stripped out the boot, I had some leak issues in the past so stripped all the stuff and carpet out, cleaned up all the crap and then gave it a good coat of stone chip. The metal was all great, no rust, no holes, which was good to see. So that's all sorted now.

 
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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
Wheel fitment looks particularly good in this photo:



I also started de-stickering the dash and it's looking better already:



Interior still has a fair bit more to do but it's already looking a lot less busy in there, and a bit smarter.
 
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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
Here we go again haha



Apart from a knocking driveshaft change, the one part of the car I've never touched, upgraded or serviced is the prop and diff. So naturally these 2 parts failed on me this weekend.

Was doing 70 overtaking a motorbike. Heard a loud noise, I thought the bike had dropped a couple of gears and was going to race off. Turned out it was me making the noise. So I pulled in at the next sliproad and waited for my mate to recover me. As I got slower the noise got slower, and it was a central sounding noise so initially I assumed it was gearbox. My overrun did seem a bit louder than usual that day.

Once back at the workshop we got it straight on the ramp, and it became apparent that the noise seemed to be coming from the propshaft. So we took it off expecting a damaged/destroyed UJ. And that's exactly what we found. The front UJ on the prop has 2 pivot points, up and down, and side to side. Well one of those pivot points was basically seized solid, you had to bang the end on the floor or hard with your hand to get it to move. Clearly this prop was done, so I went and got another.

When we returned we realised the nose of the diff was also making a knock noise, as seen here (click for video):



Not cracked it open yet, but we're pretty sure it's the nose bearing that's gone, as well as at least 1 tooth on the pinion that has broken. The tooth suspicion was confirmed when we drained the oil:



Anyway like I say, the diff is the only thing I've not touched. It's a welded VLSD my mate had done when he owned the car, so it's been in about 5 years and perhaps 60,000+ miles. It worked, it made no noise, it didn't whine. So I just left it as I was planning an upgrade anyway.

The drained oil is without question the most HORRENDOUS looking oil I have ever seen in any diff or box I have ever come across!



It was completely silver, the drain plug had maybe like 2mm thick of metal shavings on it, as well as the chipped gear tooth. The oil literally looked like silver flake paint, with a ton of flake in it! Bear in mind that after the noise started I drove perhaps under half a mile further before stopping, so this diff had been having some issues for some time!


So I scrambled around for a day trying to find a diff, but this time I wanted a later diff, anything with a 7" ring gear, as I wanted to fit my 4.7 ratio into it. Now obviously I plan to build it into a fully refurbed and rebuilt Fuji, but before I go dropping money on something like that, I want to know that I even like the ratio first. So I grabbed a welded 4.1 off of a friend for £60. Now fully disassembled:



All going well so far, this diff is in good condition inside, and was welded by someone competent, which is always good. I have confirmed the new ring and pinion are the correct size, which is good, and have worked out the exact ratio of the new setup will be 4.625 (ring teeth/pinion teeth), so it's not a 4.78 like the Americans use, but will still be pretty lairy.

Only difference so far is this:



The inner/shaft bearing on the existing pinion is larger than the one on my 4.6 pinion. Now obviously I can change them, the internal diameter is exactly the same, but knowledgeable diff people talk to me. Anyone know if perhaps there was a different size bearing used on pinions at some point? Maybe this ring and pinion was set up for a particular diff housing that only comes on LSDs? Like I say the new ring and pinion themselves will fit, same length/diameter etc. just this one bearing is different. Let me know thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
We gave up trying to heat and press the inner part of the bearing off. Now cut and tapped off, all good, no damage to pinion.



New bearing should arrive tomorrow and then I can crack on with building the new diff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
So, it was an ordeal, but the new diff is now in.

After fully disassembling the new diff, we pressed the new bearing on the Kia pinion, all went on fine with a little heat and some janky press tool we made out of 6 large spanners. Mekanik.

Tapped out the old bearing outer race and fitted the new one, all seated perfectly. Also fitted the new ring gear onto the welded diff unit and got it lightly seated in the housing.



The backlash we set by feel, I know there is a tolerance, but I think we've done a damn good job of it. We got the backlash so it has the tiniest amount possible while not being fully tight, and tightened the pinion nut down, then we used a little bit of paint to mark the pinion and the gear engagement looked ideal, nice and central, not too deep, not too shallow. So we bolted everything down properly, rechecked, then assembled and sealed the housing on.

Getting the old diff out was a bit of a pain, I had a mushroomed PPF bolt, so I spent a good half hour with a file and it is now a 6 sided bolt head again, so I managed to get it undone, got the old diff out and took it apart for the damage report me and my friends have been looking forward to.

Goodness me, it was destroyed haha. The ring gear is practically unscathed, but the poor pinion took a real beating and has smashed several teeth off:



Anyway, got the old shafts out, fitted the new diff, fitted new prop and driveshafts, and got everything bolted in. Unfortunately I overlooked the diff pinion seal, and frustratingly it leaks pretty badly, so I'll be sorting that this week. Other than that it seems all happy, which is good news.

I finished everything off this afternoon after a 4am finish last night, and took it for a test drive. Crap video but you get the idea:

(Click image for video)


Honestly, what a difference. Not even just the diff ratio, but everything else. The old diff was clearly on its way out for a while, what I assumed was PPF alignment issues turned out to all be diff related. My heavy overrun noise is gone completely, no overrun noise from the drivetrain now. The diff skip is much smoother and less clunky. The horrible screech in reverse is gone. It's fantastic, even cruising there is noticeably less noise.

Overall horrible experience but glad it's (almost) sorted, and the 4.625 ratio should be great fun once I've sorted out the seal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
So after ordering the wrong seal on MX5Parts, named "Diff side seal" which I assumed meant to the diff side of the transmission, it turned out to mean driveshaft seal. So I ordered a diff front seal. Took a little longer than usual to arrive but now all done.

The old seal came out without too much bother and popped the new one in. It's a genuine Mazda one which is meant to be good. All fitted now and diff refilled, and no leaks!



The car feels so much better, it's great fun, feels quicker, and basically zero nasty noises of any kind. The new ratio is amazing, and not even that bad when cruising at 65-70. The lack of drivetrain noise makes the cruising experience much nicer anyway, so a few extra revs aren't horrendous to live with.
 
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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
So, just been driving the 5 for a bit and enjoying it. Parked up at Sainsbury's Local yesterday, went in to get pizza for dinner. Came out, turned key and instantly could tell, no fuel pump noise. Great.

Tried the f/p and GND bypass in diagnostic box and nothing. Checked the fuses in the engine bay, all good. Assumed it must be pump, had to leave it there overnight. Very frustrating.

Went back this eve and after taking the fuel tank cover off and checking the plug, decided to unplug and totally bypass the fuel pump relay just to be sure it wasn't that before getting the pump out.

Didn't have any suitable wire for the 2 pins that needed bridging, so:



10amp fuse worked a treat haha. Pump fired right up, and got the car home. Just need a new relay now, easy fix.

Note: if you ever need to do this, it's perfectly safe (well maybe with thick wire and not a fuse lol), but just remember that the relay is not in the circuit, so when your key is on Ignition, the fuel pump is on, if you stall it, the fuel pump is on. Don't let it sit pumping with the car not running for long, it's not ideal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #140 ·
So not too much going on with the 5. Blew another fuel pump relay within a few days, so I'm back to the fuse bypass method for now haha. Pump may be drawing too much, maybe the sock is clogged causing the pump to need to work harder. Will pull it apart soon and have a look.

Other than that I mounted my seatbelt guides which I had somehow overlooked for an entire year haha, plus drained the diff just to make sure there was nothing nasty looking in it. Few little shavings on the magnetic plug, but other than that it looked good, oil was a good colour, so just re-filled. The 4.6 is fantastic and I'm so glad I put the effort in to get it done now.

I updated TunerStudio and my Speeduino a couple of months ago when I was trying to get my bluetooth module to work. There was no warning given, but it turns out the Rev Limiter setting was removed and replaced with an expanded Engine Protection menu with more options. Anyway, my rev limiter settings were transferred over to this new menu, however the engine protection minimum RPM default value was set to around 14,200rpm, meaning below this no settings were activated. So essentially I've been running with no ECU enforced rev limiter for over 2 months! Luckily I haven't been hanging off the limiter so no damage has occurred, and have now implemented a 7,300 hard cut which I have tested and it works perfectly as it did before. Got lucky on that one.

Also the car hit a milestone this weekend!



300,000km (186411 miles), and still on the original engine which is still running really well! Oh and before anyone says anything, my phone was mounted there while driving, and no I wasn't doing almost 90mph, on GPS that is only 71mph haha. The OEM speedo over-read and the diff have really thrown the speedo off big time!

Here's the car, paint still looking beautiful



Though note the little mark at the front of the wing, big chip caused by something, will get that touched up soon!


Next up I need to get a new clutch master as it appears to be weeping, a new front sidelight loom, and some new front tyres. I think I'll go with TR1s again, I liked them, massive improvement over the discontinued T1Rs.
 
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